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Old 02-29-2012, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,604 posts, read 2,543,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domergurl View Post
I truly wonder how many people want to ride the bus. There are people in Indianapolis who treat gas like cigarettes .. they don't care how much it costs ... they'll keep doing what they are doing.
The problem is that the price will have to go up dramatically. Even the $3 to $5 example I noted above shouldn't make or break a person. Yes, $100/month to some is a lot of money. The problem is that folks won't think anything about having $100+/month cable bill, $100+/month mobile phone bill, spending $100/month on various hobbies, spend an extra $2,000 on some 'luxury package' when buying a car,...the list goes on and on. So yes, gas and oil companies win, and other companies lose out, because gas is needed more than their over-priced goods and services.

I do think that at $5/gallon, folks would ride, if the system was quicker. I've already done the planning on my end. I can drive just eight miles a day vs forty miles a day. However, I have about an hour or so travel time, and with the horror stories I've heard, I'm not sure if the bus system can be trusted in the very early morning. Since I work early, I only have a 22ish minute commute. Right now it just isn't worth my time to deal with the bus. I could cut out a few things and my make or break point isn't a mere $1,200/year.

The Indy Connect folks need to push rail off the table. I think they could even get more suburban counties on board if they offered a tiered tax rate, and express buses from various interstate locations. It wouldn't be all fancy and cool, but transit isn't supposed to be fancy and cool...it is supposed to move people about. Stop demanding rail for sparse Indy and focus on bus service for now. Think about rail 10 to 20 years from now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msamhunter View Post
Those same voters though voted overwhelmingly to build a new Wishard Hospital which serves as part teaching along with IU, Level I trauma and the hospital they take you when you have no insurance. Wishard is a county hospital so the residents of MC pay for everything there and the salaries that go with it. Each person has his/her reason for voting for it but I would say recognizing the need for healthcare for everyone is one of those reasons even if the patient can't pay. Adequate healthcare just adds a higher qol than public transportation and people tend to see that.
There are a few issues with the Wishard example. First, Wishard doesn't rely solely on on "MC pay for everything there and the salaries." Wishard does take some insurance, people do people out-of-pocket, they have nursing home income, and I'm sure since (last I looked) IU School of Med was involved in two divisions of Wishard, they are kicking in some money. Maybe 99.99% of Wishard funding is property taxes, but they claimed the new hospital wouldn't need a property tax hike, but yet they asked for permission to raise taxes???? The claim was that with the nursing home income, a tax hike shouldn't be needed. Now there are rumblings/rumors of a tax hike may be needed. I guess we shall see.

Second, people have to understand that no one needs to own property to vote. People who don't own property, but rent, are allowed to vote. This can backfire upon those people, because chances are they are lower income and see voting to spend more money for anything as a benefit to them. Most likely don't understand that if the apartment or home they are living in has property taxes go up $30/month, their landlord is likely to jack the rent as soon as the lease is up. Of course the flip side to this is that if your renter is so poor as to get Section 8, the landlord may not care about worrying about the taxes if they are getting a clean renter and never-will-bounce US Treasury check for rent. However, those who aren't under Section 8 vouchers and pay cash could see a rise in their rent. Some won't grasp why, that they voted for costly K-12, costly county hospital, and maybe in the future, costly mass transit.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,660,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indy_317 View Post
...The Indy Connect folks need to push rail off the table. I think they could even get more suburban counties on board if they offered a tiered tax rate, and express buses from various interstate locations. It wouldn't be all fancy and cool, but transit isn't supposed to be fancy and cool...it is supposed to move people about. Stop demanding rail for sparse Indy and focus on bus service for now. Think about rail 10 to 20 years from now...
This also blows my mind about the IndyGo system. As many people have pointed out, and I am in full agreement with, Indy is a car-centric city.

And with as much money Indianapolis/Indiana has spent on the Interstates, I find it utterly baffling that the busses DON'T US THE INTERSTATES. And being car centric, most of the things people want to get to (especially in the suburbs) ARE LOCATED BY THE INTERSTATES.

There is not one single IndyGo bus (judging by the route map) that utilizes the city's favorite past time; 465.

Really? REALLY?!?

To keep this Super Bowl related, I'm going to come up with a hypothetical situation.

A person from out of town decides to show up in the Circle City and check out what it has to offer. The city must be hopping, right? The Super Bowl is in town!

This person is staying at a hotel out by the old airport. They decide to go to downtown to initially check out the hub of activity. They also hear the IMA is free, so they want to see that as well. After seeing some fine art, they decide they want a fine shopping experience, so they head up to the Fashion Mall. After that they're going to check out a certain person's favorite place in the world, Broad Ripple. Then they are going back downtown to see what's happening at night.

According to Google maps and the directions they provide, it would take a person:

9 hours and 47 minutes (in travel time) to walk to all those destinations.

3 hours and 21 minutes ( " " ") to ride a bike to all those destinations.

3 hours and 15 minutes (*in travel time*) to take public transit to all those destinations.

*Google maps WOULD NOT even give a route for that complete trip using public transit. I even picked out places that the IndyGo routes travel to! It would only give me the first leg of the trip from the old airport to downtown. I had to add up the individual travel times of that journey*

6 MINUTES. 6 minutes more, 28-29 miles of bike riding, and exercise is the difference between biking it and using the public transit system Indianapolis has in place.

When a person on a bicycle can get to a place in virtually the same time as it takes the 12th most populated city in the country to publicly transit people to the same places... I'm left speechless. Really. And how anyone can look at this and say, "Yeah, that's alright" is beyond me.

Evolve or die. And if Indy, and the State, thinks its a good idea to only build more roads for a form of transit that will only become more expensive to use when gas prices (inevitably) continue to rise, then I have 0 (Zero) sympathy for those that will "die" when the world continues to "evolve".

The only reason why the Super Bowl came to the city in the first place is because the city "evolved" it's stadium to meet the standards and world we currently live in. When Indy could be considered for another one, it will be passed over. The weather will not cooperate again, like it did. People know that. And when weather doesn't cooperate, it makes it harder to move around. And when you put all your eggs in one basket, and that basket falls, or breaks... no more eggs.

NYC will get another (2nd, after next year's) Super Bowl before Indianapolis does.

Chicago will get it's first Super Bowl before Indianapolis gets it's second. 8 inches of snow in Indy would bring Indy to a standstill. 8 inches of snow in Chicago does not slow the city down. And it certainly doesn't stop the CTA from running.

Indianapolis will always be a high 3rd, very low 2nd class American city, until it decides to give people more than one legitimate way to move about the city, and provide economic activity to all the parts of the city, by allowing it's residents unrestricted access to the city.

I've read people's complaints about not seeing the economic benefits of the Super Bowl throughout the city. New York and New Jersey aren't going to have those complaints because they allow multiple ways for people to access all their cities have to offer.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
I don't claim to know all 900K who live in Marion County; but as an urban dweller with a lot of other urban dwelling friends I would like to think that I have some idea as far as what some of us want in the city.

I do know a lot of people who actively want to take the bus places. I might have to dig for it, but someone wrote a nice blog about this calling those people the "want to be converted" or something. There really are a lot of people in Indianapolis that wants to be converted. Is it a majority of people? Probably not. Is it enough to justify an overhaul of the system? I would like to think so, but I don't have a crystal ball nor does anyone else on this forum.
I've seen that article as well. I'm not sure if it was on a blog or in NUVO, but I came across it a few months ago. I think there is a distinction that needs to be made. A lot of people want to take the bus places that don't today. The two big questions:

-to what extent do you need to improve service (frequency, routes, location of stops, etc.) to get those people on the bus?

-what is the tradeoff economically? Transit systems generally don't make money, but you can't lose your shirt either. If you need to spend 50% more for a 30% increase in ridership, that's a problem.

I think you're absolutely correct in saying that none of us know what everyone in Marion Co. is thinking, however, I do believe that people in the region are no more or less likely to desire transit than in other regions. The systemic issues and development patterns in the region have created obstacles for the "buy-in". Transit rules of thumb we do know from planners:

-1/4 mile to bus stop estimate. This is a widely published estimate. You can stretch this to maybe 1/2 mile for BRT. At current density levels, the city can't support a stop every half mile at a regular level of service (20 min or so). It's cost prohibitive, even if the system was more appropriately funded, thanks to current density limiting the pool of potential riders at any given stop. Even if stops every 3/8 mile were adopted, this would drive some people away if they were commuting 9 miles to work as the time cost associated with transit increases compared to a car with all of those stops. This kind of trade off needs to be considered.

-Density rules of thumb: 4000/sq mi for guaranteed every 45 min to 1 hr service. 6000/sq mi for guaranteed every 30 min service. 6K to 10K ranging from possible light rail to solid light rail options between employment centers. Density is the major hang up...Indy's achilles heel I guess you could call it.

I pulled something together to show the weakness/obstacle here. The 15 largest MSAs from the "North Central". This was loosely defined as all MSAs bordering the Ohio River/MO/KS line going north, between the Appalachians and the edge of the Great Plains (KC/Omaha). Indy is the 11th largest MSA in this pool...a little on the small size, but pretty average. Now you can rank these MSAs my the number of people living in bus-friendly neighborhoods by summing all census tracts w/ a 4000/sq mi + density level to get a better picture of each area's "core" transit market.

Rankings: Chicago (5.42 million), Detroit (1.85 million), Twin Cities (932K), Cleveland (812K), STL (703K), Milwaukee (676K), Pittsburgh (637K), Columbus (529K), Buffalo (447K), Cincy (428K), KC (335K), Omaha (319K), Louisville (309K), Rochester (282K), Indy (253K)

Dead last. What is even more striking is the fact that the three closest markets in terms of transit friendly population are all substantially smaller markets. Smaller cities with a similar customer pool are at a distinct advantage. Indy's 250,000 rider base may need to go 9 miles in any direction from downtown, while the slightly larger transit friendly base of a city like Rochester may only need to go 6 miles in any direction from the center of the system. This equates to more extensive service within a smaller area in Rochester, which leads to better rider "buy-in".

I know I'm beating a dead horse here with the density discussion, but I think it's important to point out that the ranking above correlates to actual ridership extremely well. Much better than simply saying, "Indy is as big as Milwaukee, why can't we have a system like theirs?" I'm not accusing you or anyone in particular of these comments. I just see them here a lot.

We can measure how well the service is doing by looking at total ridership/transit friendly population to get a ratio of rides/person. To get any sort of an accurate measure, we need to group common cities together (big and or "choky" places with lots of congestion impediments due to topography need to be separated, for example):

Huge and/or heavily choked: Chicago and Pittsburgh 100-110 rides/year.
Very large: Twin Cities @ 94, Detroit at only 42.
Reasonably larger than Indy and/or moderately choked like Cincy: Cleveland, Milw, STL, Cincy @ 55-75 rides/year.
Smaller places: L'ville, Rochester, Buffalo @ 50-65 rides/year.
Mid sized w/ fewer congestion elements: KC @ 45, Columbus and Indy at 32-33.
Outlier: Omaha @ 13.

Indy doesn't look awful when placed with their peers. I've droned on a lot, but I think it's important to show that things like density and congestion push the cart much more than any sort of incompetence by Indy Connect or unwillingness by the state to fund transit. Getting to a ratio of 50 rides/year is doable with strong committment. That would be a step in the right direction, but that would still only translate to about 13 million riders. That is still only:

20-25% of CLE, STL, MILW ridership
Half of Buffalo/Cincy ridership.
Substantially less than Rochester, Columbus, KC, and Lousville ridership.

This is just a big problem that extends well beyond Indy Connect.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:56 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 2,117,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
6 MINUTES. 6 minutes more, 28-29 miles of bike riding, and exercise is the difference between biking it and using the public transit system Indianapolis has in place.

When a person on a bicycle can get to a place in virtually the same time as it takes the 12th most populated city in the country to publicly transit people to the same places... I'm left speechless. Really. And how anyone can look at this and say, "Yeah, that's alright" is beyond me....

NYC will get another (2nd, after next year's) Super Bowl before Indianapolis does.

Chicago will get it's first Super Bowl before Indianapolis gets it's second. 8 inches of snow in Indy would bring Indy to a standstill. 8 inches of snow in Chicago does not slow the city down. And it certainly doesn't stop the CTA from running.

Indianapolis will always be a high 3rd, very low 2nd class American city, until it decides to give people more than one legitimate way to move about the city, and provide economic activity to all the parts of the city, by allowing it's residents unrestricted access to the city.

I've read people's complaints about not seeing the economic benefits of the Super Bowl throughout the city. New York and New Jersey aren't going to have those complaints because they allow multiple ways for people to access all their cities have to offer.
First, I agree that buses should be using the interstates the same way PACE and CTA do in Chicago.

Secondly, I find your assertion that Chicago will get the SB or NYC will get a second dubious at best. Outdoor stadiums will not get Super Bowls in cold weather climates...unless it is a one shot deal for building a billion+ stadium in NYC. The media seemed to love Indy and the league did too. That's what matters.

Third: I agree with you that it seems ridiculous that taking the bus should result in a time cost when riding a bike. But I'm going to turn the tables on you: Chicago. Great city for transit. According to google maps, I can ride my bike from 6 corners in Wicker Park up to the Riviera in Uptown right now in 33 minutes by bike. It will take me 48 minutes by transit per the same source.

That's almost 50% longer by transit than by bike for only a 5.5 mile trip! Where is the outrage? Chicago, get with the times and evolve! Oh wait...
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
First, I agree that buses should be using the interstates the same way PACE and CTA do in Chicago.

(1)Secondly, I find your assertion that Chicago will get the SB or NYC will get a second dubious at best. Outdoor stadiums will not get Super Bowls in cold weather climates...unless it is a one shot deal for building a billion+ stadium in NYC. The media seemed to love Indy and the league did too. That's what matters.

Third: I agree with you that it seems ridiculous that taking the bus should result in a time cost when riding a bike. But I'm going to turn the tables on you: Chicago. Great city for transit. (2)According to google maps, I can ride my bike from 6 corners in Wicker Park up to the Riviera in Uptown right now in 33 minutes by bike. It will take me 48 minutes by transit per the same source.

That's almost 50% longer by transit than by bike for only a 5.5 mile trip! Where is the outrage? Chicago, get with the times and evolve! Oh wait...

1. And this is where February weather comes into play. A foot of snow is dumped on New York, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Where is it going to be easier to go to all the activities the Super Bowl brings with it? The city(s) with multiple ways to get around, or the city that depends on a single way of moving people?

2. I see your point. But the person biking isn't having to stop and pick up people. And more than likely the bicyclist isn't following the rules of the road (which they should) like a bus does. If the bus from 6 corners to the Riviera only made a stop every half to full mile (more of an "express" service), the bus would come out ahead.

Also, 15 minutes more riding on a bus (i.e. not doing physical activity) would be considered by many to be a fair trade off for not having to ride a bike.

But when given the option of adding 6 minutes more to an already long trip, riding a bike doesn't seem to be that much more of a hassle. On top of that, what does Google consider an "average speed" for a bicyclist? I can ride at about 15-16 MPH for more than an hour straight, causing a 30 mile ride (round trip) to take a little more than 2 hours, still 1 hour and 15 minutes less than the same trip using IndyGo.

In addition to that, Google says going from Washington and Meridian to 40th and Meridian is 4.3 miles, or 1 hour and 26 minutes. I know for a fact that I can walk 4 miles in an hour. So it appears to me that Google maps takes historical traffic times and congestion into account when giving out times, and assumes that everyone is average, to below average, when it comes to physically moving their own bodies about the world.

The fact remains that cities 1/10 the size (population) of Indy have better transportation coverage and frequency.

Once again, Peyton doesn't dwell on the passes he made and the touchdowns he threw. He cares about the ones that didn't succeed. Indy should take the time to figure out what it did wrong, and work to correct it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
1. And this is where February weather comes into play. A foot of snow is dumped on New York, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Where is it going to be easier to go to all the activities the Super Bowl brings with it? The city(s) with multiple ways to get around, or the city that depends on a single way of moving people?.
The difference is, you're talking logistics to get people there (good luck with that Meadowlands trip BTW) and I'm talking about the game itself. The league is more worried about game quality than your bus ride to it. Indy won't have Dallas-esque issues w/ snow and ice. They're better than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
2. I see your point. But the person biking isn't having to stop and pick up people. And more than likely the bicyclist isn't following the rules of the road (which they should) like a bus does. If the bus from 6 corners to the Riviera only made a stop every half to full mile (more of an "express" service), the bus would come out ahead.

Also, 15 minutes more riding on a bus (i.e. not doing physical activity) would be considered by many to be a fair trade off for not having to ride a bike.

But when given the option of adding 6 minutes more to an already long trip, riding a bike doesn't seem to be that much more of a hassle. On top of that, what does Google consider an "average speed" for a bicyclist? I can ride at about 15-16 MPH for more than an hour straight, causing a 30 mile ride (round trip) to take a little more than 2 hours, still 1 hour and 15 minutes less than the same trip using IndyGo.?
Two things:

The Chicago bus isn't express, so your point is moot. If you want to use that logic, then we can say the Indy bus should take the highway. Also making the bike-bus comparison favorable for a bus.

Most importantly, you're trying to argue that someone would consider not having to bike 5.5 miles, but wasting 15 minutes a fair trade. Then you turn around and argue that someone in Indy would be willing to bike 30 miles to save 1:15. This is completely bogus. First off, the time saved for every mile of biking is higher in the Chicago example, so if you were looking at this with an endless supply of energy from an economic perspective, Chicago wins. Secondly, a cyclist doesn't have an endless supply of energy. You're asking someone to bike over 30 miles in the Indy scenario. Good for you that you can peel off that kind of distance at that kind of speed, but guess what? Most people have never even biked 30+ miles a day in their life. Anyone who bikes 30 miles isn't going to smell to great either...especially if zipping along at 14-16mph. Good luck picking up girls over drinks smelling like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
In addition to that, Google says going from Washington and Meridian to 40th and Meridian is 4.3 miles, or 1 hour and 26 minutes. I know for a fact that I can walk 4 miles in an hour. So it appears to me that Google maps takes historical traffic times and congestion into account when giving out times, and assumes that everyone is average, to below average, when it comes to physically moving their own bodies about the world.
Again 4 mph as a walking assumption in a quasi-urban environment is bogus. Unless you're power walking or something. I'm 6-3, in reasonably good shape, and have decently long legs (34in. inseam). I can walk 4.0 mph on a treadmill too. That's not anyone's normal walking speed, however.

All these assumptions don't make for a very credible argument.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
(1)The difference is, you're talking logistics to get people there (good luck with that Meadowlands trip BTW) and I'm talking about the game itself. The league is more worried about game quality than your bus ride to it. Indy won't have Dallas-esque issues w/ snow and ice. They're better than that.



Two things:

(2)The Chicago bus isn't express, so your point is moot. If you want to use that logic, then we can say the Indy bus should take the highway. Also making the bike-bus comparison favorable for a bus.

Most importantly, you're trying to argue that someone would consider not having to bike 5.5 miles, but wasting 15 minutes a fair trade. (3)Then you turn around and argue that someone in Indy would be willing to bike 30 miles to save 1:15. This is completely bogus. First off, the time saved for every mile of biking is higher in the Chicago example, so if you were looking at this with an endless supply of energy from an economic perspective, Chicago wins. Secondly, a cyclist doesn't have an endless supply of energy. You're asking someone to bike over 30 miles in the Indy scenario. Good for you that you can peel off that kind of distance at that kind of speed, but guess what? Most people have never even biked 30+ miles a day in their life. Anyone who bikes 30 miles isn't going to smell to great either...especially if zipping along at 14-16mph. Good luck picking up girls over drinks smelling like that.



Again 4 mph as a walking assumption in a quasi-urban environment is bogus. Unless you're power walking or something. I'm 6-3, in reasonably good shape, and have decently long legs (34in. inseam). I can walk 4.0 mph on a treadmill too. That's not anyone's normal walking speed, however.

All these assumptions don't make for a very credible argument.
1. Fair enough. We're on different pages.

2. Fair enough. IndyGo should use the highways, in my opinion. After all it would be a shame to see 465 eventually become 68 lanes wide without a single bus using it.

3. I'm coming from the stand point of, "If I need/want to go somewhere, I want to actually be moving". I think standing around waiting half an hour is far less constructive than moving, at an admittedly far slower pace, on a bike.

If the 3+ hour trip taking the bus includes three 30 minute waits for a bus, I would much rather walk or ride a bike instead of standing around.

The fact remains that moving about Indianapolis on a bike or a bus is about an equal expenditure of time, no matter where you're going. And that is sad. At least for me.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
The fact remains that moving about Indianapolis on a bike or a bus is about an equal expenditure of time, no matter where you're going. And that is sad. At least for me.
I don't disagree with you there. Some things can be done to create better efficiency, namely your suggestion of use of the freeways to create commuter stops would positively impact ridership in a cost-effective manner.

The big issue is determining who is to blame for the lack of transit: state government funding, the transit authority, or underlying demographics/development patterns.

I'm going to beat the dead horse yet again and talk density. A few posts back, I provided the number of people living in higher density census tracts by metro. You can use three factors to predict transit ridership with a pretty good degree of reliability. Then you can look at the prediction vs. actual ridership to see who is underperforming / overperforming based upon density/development in each metro. Keep in mind their ridership is almost double Indy's, so maybe they are doing something right. On the surface, you would think that Indy's ridership should be almost twice that of L'ville, because Indy is almost twice the L'ville's size. Three important factors and their relationship to ridership:

1) Absolute number of people living in higher density tracts. In absolute terms, Louisville has 22% more people living in transit-friendly neighborhoods. All else equal, their ridership should be 22% higher.

2)Density within those neighborhoods. Those 4000+ people/sq mi neighborhoods in L'ville have 13% higher density than the same category of neighborhoods in Indianapolis. That means 13% more people at each bus stop, given the same stop spacing and frequency of service...all else equal too.

3)Geographic area covered by those high density areas compared to the urbanized area as a whole. Louisville's high density tracts cover over 15% of its urban area compared to less than 10% for Indy. This means more extensive coverage can be offered to more points in the region, making it easier to get more places, which drives ridership up. I don't think it's a perfectly direct relationship where ridership is 1.5x higher than it is in Indy, but it certainly has an impact. Let's split this difference and say doubling coverage leads to a 50% increase. All else equal, L'ville should have 1.27x the ridership of Indy.

Put all 3 factors together: Louisville's ridership should be 1.74x higher. It's actually 1.89x higher. In other words, when you isolate the density problems, the funding issues and transit authority decision making mean Indianapolis' transit system is only underperforming by 8% relative to L'ville. This type of estimate produces similar results for most cities:

Indy is 4% under Rochester, 37% over Columbus, 15% under KC, 6% over Milwaukee, 17% over Cleveland, 8% over Buffalo, 31% under Cincinnati, 72% over Detroit, 35% and 37% under St. Louis and Minneapolis.

The stars are Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. The dud is Detroit and possibly Columbus. Everything else is pretty average. Pittsburgh is a different animal thanks to congestion choke points on roads, as is Chicago.

This explains why Indy's transit #s are so low compared to cities that are of roughly simlar size, but what does it all mean? It means that size doesn't really matter. Density and the footprint of dense neighborhoods does. It also means that other than cities that have light rail thanks to even higher density corridors (STL and the Twin Cities) or a place like Cincy where traffic arterials get squeezed moderately thanks to hilliness, Indy is pretty much right where you'd expect them to be.

To borrow from the Peyton Manning and just getting it done analogy: the issue is that Indy isn't working with Peyton Manning set of circumstances. They're working with a 1985 Colts / Mike Pagel set of circumstances. That doesn't mean you stop trying. It just means that even if you coach Mike Pagel up (improve transit strategy) or surround him with better players (increase funding), the fact still remains that Mike Pagel is your quarterback. You can increase performance, but the ceiling is a lot lower than most people realize. Mike Pagel could be coached by Bill Walsh and you could give him Jerry Rice as a receiver, but he can't get that much better.

The only way to get better and to provide the service that people really want is to change your QB...which means creating a comprehensive strategy to revitalize neighborhoods along corridors in a dense development pattern...improving stop spacing, number of routes, and frequency of service as you go.

And with that, I will never use Mike Pagel as an analogy for transit ever again...too many bad memories from 25 years ago. So yes, it's sad that transit is so inefficient in Indianapolis, but no matter what strategies are developed, don't expect that level of efficiency to increase appreciably...unless China is feeling particularly generous and wants to dump $50 billion into Indy infrastructure with all of those T-bills sitting in vaults.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
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Indianapolis will be the FIRST northern city to be on the regular Super Bowl rotation and be the first to host 2 super bowls as a northern city in the same stadium. Detroit had to build 2 stadiums to get 2 Super Bowls. Indy is ontract to set a great example for the north.
When we bid for another Super Bowl around 2020 Indy has left its mark on this world
First northern city to be a part of the rotation: God Bless Indy.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
I don't disagree with you there. Some things can be done to create better efficiency, namely your suggestion of use of the freeways to create commuter stops would positively impact ridership in a cost-effective manner.

The big issue is determining who is to blame for the lack of transit: state government funding, the transit authority, or underlying demographics/development patterns.

I'm going to beat the dead horse yet again and talk density. A few posts back, I provided the number of people living in higher density census tracts by metro. You can use three factors to predict transit ridership with a pretty good degree of reliability. Then you can look at the prediction vs. actual ridership to see who is underperforming / overperforming based upon density/development in each metro. Keep in mind their ridership is almost double Indy's, so maybe they are doing something right. On the surface, you would think that Indy's ridership should be almost twice that of L'ville, because Indy is almost twice the L'ville's size. Three important factors and their relationship to ridership:

1) Absolute number of people living in higher density tracts. In absolute terms, Louisville has 22% more people living in transit-friendly neighborhoods. All else equal, their ridership should be 22% higher.

2)Density within those neighborhoods. Those 4000+ people/sq mi neighborhoods in L'ville have 13% higher density than the same category of neighborhoods in Indianapolis. That means 13% more people at each bus stop, given the same stop spacing and frequency of service...all else equal too.

3)Geographic area covered by those high density areas compared to the urbanized area as a whole. Louisville's high density tracts cover over 15% of its urban area compared to less than 10% for Indy. This means more extensive coverage can be offered to more points in the region, making it easier to get more places, which drives ridership up. I don't think it's a perfectly direct relationship where ridership is 1.5x higher than it is in Indy, but it certainly has an impact. Let's split this difference and say doubling coverage leads to a 50% increase. All else equal, L'ville should have 1.27x the ridership of Indy.

Put all 3 factors together: Louisville's ridership should be 1.74x higher. It's actually 1.89x higher. In other words, when you isolate the density problems, the funding issues and transit authority decision making mean Indianapolis' transit system is only underperforming by 8% relative to L'ville. This type of estimate produces similar results for most cities:

Indy is 4% under Rochester, 37% over Columbus, 15% under KC, 6% over Milwaukee, 17% over Cleveland, 8% over Buffalo, 31% under Cincinnati, 72% over Detroit, 35% and 37% under St. Louis and Minneapolis.

The stars are Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. The dud is Detroit and possibly Columbus. Everything else is pretty average. Pittsburgh is a different animal thanks to congestion choke points on roads, as is Chicago.

This explains why Indy's transit #s are so low compared to cities that are of roughly simlar size, but what does it all mean? It means that size doesn't really matter. Density and the footprint of dense neighborhoods does. It also means that other than cities that have light rail thanks to even higher density corridors (STL and the Twin Cities) or a place like Cincy where traffic arterials get squeezed moderately thanks to hilliness, Indy is pretty much right where you'd expect them to be.

To borrow from the Peyton Manning and just getting it done analogy: the issue is that Indy isn't working with Peyton Manning set of circumstances. They're working with a 1985 Colts / Mike Pagel set of circumstances. That doesn't mean you stop trying. It just means that even if you coach Mike Pagel up (improve transit strategy) or surround him with better players (increase funding), the fact still remains that Mike Pagel is your quarterback. You can increase performance, but the ceiling is a lot lower than most people realize. Mike Pagel could be coached by Bill Walsh and you could give him Jerry Rice as a receiver, but he can't get that much better.

The only way to get better and to provide the service that people really want is to change your QB...which means creating a comprehensive strategy to revitalize neighborhoods along corridors in a dense development pattern...improving stop spacing, number of routes, and frequency of service as you go.

And with that, I will never use Mike Pagel as an analogy for transit ever again...too many bad memories from 25 years ago. So yes, it's sad that transit is so inefficient in Indianapolis, but no matter what strategies are developed, don't expect that level of efficiency to increase appreciably...unless China is feeling particularly generous and wants to dump $50 billion into Indy infrastructure with all of those T-bills sitting in vaults.
One of the big issues is u r compaing indianapolis public tran today as if adding more would somehow suffice. Indygo today is a vast reduction to what it was even 10 years ago. The reason they scaled back is due to lack of support/ridership. Had nothing to do with density in the end as they had double the routes as well as stops and went almost everywhere in mc san franklin and decatur townships. In the end the majority of taxpayers just don't want and def. Do not want to subsidize it. Look at it like this density in north lake county along the ss route isn't even 1k yet it has good enough ridership to maintain. If desity were that big of a factor there wouldn't be a need for 4 (5 if u count gyy) stops in lc even though they want to consolidate lake st and the metro center.

Indianapolis residents, those that r lifelong just do not want it. Ur push for mass transit comes from those that r not native and for the most part used to mass govenment subsidy. U can also forget donut county support. It will never happen. Hamilton county wants rail because its cool and hip to say we got rail but their cost would be but a fraction of what marion county would pay since 95% of all route miles will be in indianapolis.

its like a library no one uses. They choose to never frequent it but the moment u try to close it those same ones r in an uproar. U can't subsidize just to subsidize. So over the years indygo cut its fleet and routes 50% to match who actually uses it and funding wnet first. This city is easy to get around. Yes it covers 360 sq miles but a nice square literally making all points equal. The furthest reaches in every direction all about 20 min from downtown. Can't really beat that. Wide major arteries and a very efficient highway system. Asking someone who can afford a car here to take longer as well be relegated to a schedule is just a tough task.
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